A lateral load resisting system (LLRS) is an interconnected framework in the building that works together to resist the lateral loads, both wind and seismic, acting on the building. A shear wall is a part of the LLRS which transfers the lateral load to the foundation of the building. Currently, the provision from IBC and ASCE 7-16 suggests the selection of adequate stiffness, dimension, and type of shear walls based on the given lateral loads. There has been a rise in the amount of building renovations since the 1980’s. In 2019, expenditures in home improvements were around $262 billion with $17 billion spent in major structural work. These numbers have increased by roughly 3% in 2022. One common type of renovation is to open a floorplan by removing an interior load bearing wall and replacing it with a steel frame structure. This frame will require adequate lateral stability to be provided by the LLRS of the building structure. Currently, the AISC Steel Construction design code requires a certain amount of lateral stiffness based on the geometry of the frame and the gravity loads being carried by the frame. However, many times it is just assumed that the LLRS of the building provides this required stiffness without it being vi checked. This thesis will examine the adequacy of light framed timber shear walls, designed in accordance with IBC specifications based on wind loading, to provide adequate stiffness, based on AISC specifications, to a steel frame structure used in a common retrofitting of a building. Variables related to building location which impacts gravity loads (e.g., dead load, live load and snow load) and lateral loads (e.g. wind), building size and tributary area of the steel frame were used to determine if shear wall design based on the IBC code is adequate for lateral stiffness of the steel frame in all cases. The numerical analysis showed that for each of the cases analyzed in this thesis that the timber shear walls designed in accordance with the IBC under a given wind loading will provide the required lateral stiffness to an interior steel frame used in renovations of a structure.

Date of publication

Spring 4-26-2023

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Dr. Michael McGinnis, Ph.D., P.E., Dr. Michael Gangone, Ph.D., Dr. Gokhan Saygili, Ph.D., P.E.


Master of Science in Civil Engineeirng